Given their considerable retail behemoth market power, we’ve covered Walmart’s telecom service offerings for some time now. The most recent Walmart telecom move of note is revealed by AdAge. They will soon launch a nationwide television advertising campaign (see video below), featuring their own branded Straight Talk prepaid wireless offering.
I take notice of Straight Talk because of its potential impact on the competitive landscape due to the combination of the rise in popularity of prepaid wireless plans and Walmart’s expansive reach and power.
Straight Talk is an exclusive Walmart offering through a partnership with Tracfone Wireless. In the ads, Walmart claims over one million customers for the service. Walmart actively promotes two prepaid plans – 1) $30 for 1,000 minutes, 1000 texts, 30 MBs of data, and unlimited 411 calls; and 2) $45 for unlimited minutes, text, and data over a 30 day time period. Longer plans, including an unlimited yearly plan for $540 are available at the Straight Talk website.
As they do so well, Walmart is pushing value for the plans, citing the potential of saving up to $850 year by going with them over other wireless options in the ads. The prepaid option is sure to tempt wireline cord cutters who may have previously ‘been on the fence’ regarding the decision to go wireless only.